Michael Weir: Hearts' form is excellent, but no need for Hibs to panic ahead of derby

Yes, Hibs were well beaten at the end of the day. It's as simple as that. Sometimes in football you just have to take your medicine and move on the to the next match.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 6:30 am
Celtic's Filip Benkovic heads clear under pressure from Hibs' Florian Kamberi. Pic: SNS

Yes, Hibs were well beaten at the end of the day. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes in football you just have to take your medicine and move on the to the next match.

But as disappointed as everyone at Easter Road would have been by the defeat at Celtic Park, I think Neil Lennon and his players deserve every credit for going there and having a go at Brendan Rodgers’ team.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong in that as far as I am concerned. Throughout the years football teams have gone to places like Celtic Park and Ibrox intent on sitting in, hoping to hold on for a draw and perhaps sneak a goal on the break.

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Great if it comes off, but invariably such tactics result in the same outcome, defeat. So, while there may be something of a risk in taking the game to them I’m sure those Hibs fans who travelled to Glasgow, while disappointed with the final result, would have been delighted to see the players go out and express themselves, create chances and score a couple of superb goals.

It didn’t come off against Celtic but if they continue to do that – as they have done in many of the games so far this season – then they’ll undoubtedly go on to win many of them.

Neil held his hands up, admitting that things hadn’t worked out as he’d hoped, Celtic those two goals up early on which was always going to make it nigh-on impossible to turn around but once he’d changed things a bit we certainly gave them a game of it.

However, as Rodgers said, Celtic appear to have got over their earlier problems, making you wonder what might have happened if Hibs had perhaps got them a month ago. Now they are starting to show the sort of form of the past couple of seasons.

I think it was also obvious at the weekend that when we have all our players fully fit we have a pretty decent squad but when there are a couple of key players out, in this instance David Gray and Paul Hanlon, it can look a little stretched with Darren McGregor pitched back in after three months out.

You do need to have your best and most experienced players out there in games like that and I also think people don’t fully appreciate places like Celtic Park and Ibrox can be a totally different experience for those who haven’t been there before.

Having more than 50,000 Celtic or Rangers fans in full voice can make it pretty intimidating.

The weekend results and last night’s win at Dundee has seen Hearts move eight points ahead of us but there’s no need to panic although it does make the derby, our next match, a massive game. Tynecastle will be difficult, Hearts’ home form is good and that’s always a key to things; get that right and you are halfway there.

There’s still a lot of football to be played and I think it is always interesting to see how those sides who hit form early on do as the season goes on. I always prefer to see teams coming on strong later in the season.

Having said that, it already looks as if the Premiership is dividing into two separate mini-leagues. Only five points separate the top six and they are starting to pull away a bit, a gap is beginning to develop, the threat for the bottom four being that they could quickly become detached from the rest.